Most people visit tiny Malawi on their way somewhere else. Squeezed between southern and eastern Africa, this poor, densely populated little country makes a convenient stopover for those en route from, say, Mozambique to Tanzania.

Those who do make the stop may be surprised. For such a thin sliver of a country, Malawi offers a variety of attractions: lakes, rivers, mountains, game parks and villages. Its people are also a big attraction, and they are often referred to as some of the friendliest people in Africa.

We think Malawi has a subtle appeal; if you get the chance to perch on a mountain cliff above Cape Maclear and watch the sun sink into Lake Malawi as fishermen return to shore with the day's catch, you'll understand what we mean. The pace of life in Malawi is timeless, and the warm, sleepy atmosphere makes it impossible not to relax.

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